United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division
R. BRYAN HARWELL, District Judge.
On May 21, 2014, Jerome Capelton ("Petitioner"), a federal prisoner currently confined at Federal Correctional Institution-Estill in Estill, SC, filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. See Pet., ECF No. 1. Petitioner is proceeding pro se. The matter is before the Court for review of the Report and Recommendation ("R & R") of United States Magistrate Judge Kevin F. McDonald, made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 73.02 for the District of South Carolina. See R & R, ECF No. 15. In his R & R, the Magistrate Judge recommends the Court dismiss Petitioner's petition without prejudice and without requiring the respondent to file a return. See id. at 4.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Petitioner alleges a conviction and sentencing for one count of conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base and four counts of substantive distribution of 50 grams or more of cocaine base resulting in a sentence of 360 months in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. See ECF No. 1-1 at 2. Records in Petitioner's criminal case, United States v. Capelton , No. 3:00-cr-30027-MAP-4, indicate that Petitioner was originally sentenced to a 360 month term of imprisonment on February 20, 2002, subsequent to a jury verdict finding him guilty. See United States v. Capelton, 350 F.3d 231, 235 (1st Cir. 2003). On February 28, 2002, Petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal. On November 26, 2003, the First Circuit affirmed petitioner's conviction and sentence. See id.
On October 4, 2005, Petitioner filed a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct the sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. On July 1, 2008, the district court issued an opinion denying Petitioner's motion and dismissing the petition. See United States v. Capelton , No. 3:00-cr-30027-MAP-4, at *4 (D. Mass. July 1, 2008).
At some point Petitioner was transferred to FCI-Estill in Estill, SC, and on May 21, 2014, he filed the Petition that is presently before the court pursuant to § 2241. Petitioner does not appear to have obtained authorization from the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to proceed with a second or successive § 2255 petition.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to the district court. The recommendation has no presumptive weight. The responsibility to make a final determination remains with the district court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). The Court is charged with making a de novo determination of those portions of the R & R to which specific objection is made, and the court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, or recommit the matter with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
The court is obligated to conduct a de novo review of every portion of the Magistrate Judge's report to which objections have been filed. Id. However, the court need not conduct a de novo review when a party makes only "general and conclusory objections that do not direct the court to a specific error in the magistrate's proposed findings and recommendations." Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982) ("[D]e novo review [is] unnecessary in... situations when a party makes general and conclusory objections that do not direct the court to a specific error in the magistrate's proposed findings and recommendation."). The Court reviews only for clear error in the absence of a specific objection. See Diamond v. Colonial Life & Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310 (4th Cir.2005). Furthermore, in the absence of specific objections to the R & R, this Court is not required to give any explanation for adopting the recommendation. See Diamond, 416 F.3d at 315; Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198 (4th Cir. 1983).
I. Petition, R & R, and Objections
In his Petition, Petitioner asserts that his prior conviction for larceny in Massachusetts should not have been used by the District Court in Massachusetts in classifying him as a career offender under the United States Sentencing Guidelines ("U.S.S.G."),  which according to Petitioner resulted in a 20 year enhancement of his sentence. See ECF No. 1-1 at 4-5, 11. Petitioner asserts that, in light of Descamps v. United States, ___ U.S. ___, 133 S.Ct. 2276 (2013), his prior conviction for larceny is no longer a qualifying predicate offense for career offender enhancement purpose. See ECF No. 1-1 at 3, 23-28. He further asserts that his prior crime of larceny is a "non-violent" offense, that the government failed to show that larceny was a crime of violence, and his larceny did not carry a serious risk of injury. See ECF No. 1-1 at 13-14, 14-15, 18-24. Petitioner then requests the following relief: (1) that the Court conduct a hearing and inquiry into the cause of Petitioner's detention and (2) following the hearing, Petitioner be discharged from the detention and restraint. See ECF No. 1 at 2.
In his R & R, the Magistrate Judge recommended finding that Petitioner failed to satisfy the savings clause of § 2255, and thus could not pursue relief through a § 2241 habeas petition. See ECF No. 15 at 3-4. The Magistrate Judge noted that Petitioner's available judicial remedy is to seek leave from the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to file a successive § 2255 petition. See id. at 4. As the Magistrate Judge explained, Petitioner cannot challenge his federal conviction and sentence under § 2241 unless he can satisfy the § 2255 savings clause, which states:
An application for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a prisoner who is authorized to apply for relief by motion pursuant to this section, shall not be entertained if it appears that the applicant has failed to apply for relief, by motion, to the court which sentenced him, or that such court has denied him relief, unless it also appears that ...